Self-doubt is a very human reaction to all the difficulties life throws your way. It doesn’t have to stop you from overcoming adversity and achieving your goals, either.
There is a myth that there are never any doubts about successful, confident individuals—that they are strategic about every selection, never feel guilty about it, and always know what to do. That’s not further from the truth, though.
The fact is everybody, even the bloodiest of leaders, is second-guessing themselves. As they climb up their ladder of success, they are almost certainly haunted by indecision.
Here are 8 useful tips to defeat doubt and guide your energy towards more productive thinking ways. You will be just like all the entrepreneurs you’ve always admired, in due time.
1. Set goals immediately.
Remember to set attainable, short-term targets in addition to adopting optimistic, long-term goals. When your significant goals are not instantly realized, it’s easy to let uncertainty creep in. You will continually bask in regular wins by hitting smaller goals along the way.
2. Know that you aren’t alone.
You have to understand that everybody has doubts. You’re not alone. It is isolating to think that you are the only one who suffers from a faith level in yourself. When you feel like an outlier, you’ll sabotage your success. You should know that even the most successful people were also self-doubting at some point.
3. Face your fears.
Do not let fear or self-doubt determine how you conduct your personal life or run your company. Consider the worst-case scenarios daily as well as the risk-reward ratio and face the stuff that frightens you head-on.
People who are scared to fail, personally as well as professionally, never step forward or develop. The more you push forward yourself, the more you will appreciate what you can do. You can even finally be able to reverse the detrimental effects of self-doubt and use it to question the shortcomings and achieve excellence.
4. Stop worrying about what people think.
When you waste all your attention and energy on overthinking other people’s opinions of you, you’re going to get caught in an inadequacy loop. There’s still going to be someone who seems to be getting well, going faster, or making more. Don’t equate yourself with the successes and possessions of others.
5. Surround yourself with the positive people.
No one is an island, as the saying goes, and that holds for your corporate life too. Hold the people who inspire you near and get their input daily—distancing yourself from people who are always cynical about you, your business, and your potential prospects.
6. Remember your previous successes.
Instead of reflecting on the negative, as the doubt finally hits, concentrate on what went well and recent achievements—with each success being another step down the journey towards achieving more excellent targets. For your triumphs, give yourself full credit.
7. Don’t hinge your personal competence on imminent results.
Many individuals create an idealistic picture of themselves. When they fail at any stage to live up to that picture, doubt sinks in.
Given your best efforts and intentions, mistakes happen, and dwelling on them doesn’t make sense. Instead, learn and consciously develop healthier habits from each disappointment.
8. Distract yourself.
It is all too common to get overly wrapped up in negative thoughts that can spread to all facets of your life without control. Immediately break the cycle. Taking a stroll, going on to another project, or doing exercise are a few ways to exit this self-destructive mental cycle. Before it consumes you, experiment to find the approach that works best to quench pessimism.
Related: How to Bounce back from Accidents, Losses & Breakups